AFFF is a type of firefighting foam widely used by the military and other organizations. AFFF contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) linked to severe health issues such as cancer and reproductive problems.
According to Lezdo Techmed, around 2,586 AFFF class action MDLs were pending as of June 16th, 2022. This number makes it one of the largest MDLs, the 14th largest to be precise, in the US.
In this article, we’ll explore PFAS and how they affect humans. And we’ll also explain how much money you can expect from an AFFF lawsuit settlement or verdict if your exposure led to one of these diseases.
What is AFFF?
AFFF is a fluorine-based firefighting foam used to fight jet fuel fires and other types of fires. AFFF was developed in the 1960s when scientists tried to find safer products than water or CO2 to extinguish fuel fires. The chemical makeup of AFFF makes it a Class A fire suppressant, which means that it does not burn or generate toxic gases when it comes into contact with flames.
AFFF is used in land-based vehicles and at sea on ships and boats, including military aircraft. It can be sprayed from above the water’s surface onto burning oil rigs or ships below, sprayed on land before an engine accident, or poured directly over burning tanks at an airport.
The main disadvantage of using this chemical is its high toxicity. The EPA has found no safe levels of exposure to fluorine compounds like ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) found in AFFF foams.
What is PFAS?
PFAS is a class of chemicals that are used in a variety of products, including firefighting foam. PFAS are a group of fluorinated organic compounds with no known safe exposure level. They have been linked to cancer, other health issues, and reproductive problems that can pass from mothers to their children.
PFAS have been used in consumer products for years, including cookware and clothing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS can be found at levels above national guidelines in at least 130 public drinking water systems across the country. Bloomberg aw reports that several states, including Maine and New York, have banned PFAS recently.
Does AFFF Contain PFAS?
As you already know, AFFF is a fluorinated compound used to fight fires. It’s one of the most common types of firefighting foam used by firefighters worldwide. However, many people need to learn about this commonly used product because it contains chemicals called PFASs (perfluoroalkyl substances). The National Cancer Institute has linked PFAS exposure to cancer as well as other health problems such as low birth weight and developmental delays in children.
How Does PFAS Affect Human Health?
There are many health conditions linked to PFAS contamination and exposure. These include kidney cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, and other types of cancer. PFAS can be ingested, inhaled, and absorbed through the skin. Ingesting can cause gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
What Specific Diseases have been Linked to PFAS?
According to the EPA, there’s a link between PFAS exposure and the following diseases:
- Cancer: There is some evidence that PFOA exposure may increase the risk of cancers such as testicular, kidney, pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers. Furthermore, there is evidence that PFAS exposure can stimulate the growth of cancer cells.
- Kidney disease: Research has shown an increased risk of kidney disease in people exposed to PFOS and PFOA.
- Thyroid disease: Some studies have found a connection between high levels of PFASs in drinking water and thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels).
- Ulcerative colitis: There is an association between high blood serum levels of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and ulcerative colitis. The link between other types of cancer and ulcerative colitis is still being investigated.
How Can I Protect Myself from AFFF Exposure?
The best way to protect yourself and your family from AFFF exposure is to avoid contact with it whenever possible. It means wearing protective gear when working with the substance, avoiding eating food prepared in areas where AFFF is used, and washing your hands thoroughly after handling it.
If you don’t have access to a facility that uses AFFF, try living elsewhere. The chemicals are known carcinogens and can cause serious health issues if they come into contact with the skin or eyes.
How Much is an Average Settlement for an AFFF Lawsuit?
The average AFFF Lawsuit settlement amounts vary, depending on the severity of symptoms and other factors. It can range from $300,000 or more, depending on the strength of the case. A judge or jury usually determines the amount paid in settlements during a trial. The more severe your illness, the higher the settlement amount will be.
If you have multiple chemical injuries from AFFF exposure, expect your settlement amount to increase substantially because it will be difficult for defense attorneys to argue that you don’t deserve compensation for all of your illnesses at once.
If your condition has progressed into remission, it may not affect your ability to collect damages as much as if you still had active symptoms such as rashes or breathing problems due to AFFF exposure.
You can be compensated if you were exposed to AFFF and got cancer. Compensation depends on the type of disease and how it was caused by exposure to AFFF. Suppose you have been diagnosed with a compensable condition. In that case, the amount of your compensation will depend on several factors: age at diagnosis, the severity of symptoms, the number of years exposed to chemicals in AFFF, and other factors.
If you think your illness is related to exposure at work or home, contact an attorney familiar with AFFF lawsuits for more information about how much money you might receive under this settlement agreement.
This post has helped you better understand what AFFF exposure is and how it can affect your life. If you have been exposed to AFFF, it is essential to seek medical treatment and contact an attorney specializing in these cases so they can discuss the legal options available.